After working extra hard to shed its seed coat, this one’s likely going to produce the biggest melons of the lot.
The truth is it could probably go either way. Maybe it isn’t gaining strength; perhaps it’s actually falling behind the others. As far as I know, there’s no scientific research to back up either thought. I’ve been known to interfere and remove the seed coat from peppers. Their first leaves are much smaller (weaker?) than the melons in comparison to its seed coat and my gut instinct was that there would be a struggle to shed it themselves. I’ll give this melon another day and if it busts out, then I’m thinking it will be stronger, and if it takes any longer it probably needs my help and there goes my gut theory.
I’ve seen this scenario dozens of times, if not more, and have never really contemplated it until now. Oh, the power of a photograph to get one’s mind wondering! Thank you, Sandra and Cathy for this fun and inspiring weekly challenge.
I’ve never understood (or admittedly bothered to research) how other gardeners manage to have their ducks live in harmony with the precious fruits and veg of their labour. When we first introduced our five eager quackers to our gardens, we were pleased with the efficiency with which they hoovered up slugs and bugs. Oh, how quickly these feelings changed. The sight of our steamrolled lettuces and carrots soon saw them evicted from the gardens, separated by a chicken wire covered wooden post fence. Continue reading
It won’t be long and the evening ferry will be arriving back to the island in daylight; for now, the artificial lights guide us into port. It’s hardly what I would describe as a romantic site. Picturesque, definitely. I’ve even thought it idyllic, but, other than the first time I visited fifteen years ago, not romantic. Johnny waiting for me on the pier is a scene we’ve shared a hundred or more times, but tonight I felt a little starry-eyed. It had me thinking later how I’ve probably been taking this gesture for granted. He’s always there, always. It felt so good, I’ll never again view my arrival back home as unromantic or fail to see the gesture of love he’s showing me.
While I’m gushing on (it is the celebratory day of love ❤ ) I want to share a comment received last week that made me feel especially warm and fuzzy about writing and blogging, and towards everyone here who does the same- writes from the heart for the love of writing, appreciating connections made with their readers.
“Just to say I read you off and on, not a real follower though I “follow” you, and that I really enjoy the way you write about your life and the things you do, the everyday things that are so different from what I do and yet I connect with the art of doing life. You live in a beautiful part of the world. Be blessed always.”
My family & I appreciate with all our hearts each and every remark, opinion, and reflection that is shared here on our blog. Some of us share similar lives and many live very differently than we do. Either way, what we all have in common is the doing of life, and while it’s not always romantic, it’s certainly worth appreciating and occasionally even celebrating.
Joining in the one a week photo challenge, my interpretation of this week’s word ‘artificial.’ Thanks Sandra and Cathy!
With love, Melissa Xx
It’s a beautiful first day of spring here on the island and we put the St. Brigid’s cross up on the house first thing this morning. The children are more wrapped up than usual as they head off for school because we had just returned from a wee trek to collect the bundle of reeds that Nuala is holding; they’ll be used at school to make crosses of their own.
The first day of spring here in Ireland falls about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. One of the traditional ways of celebrating is by making a St. Brigid’s cross which is ‘placed on doorways to ward off evil, fire, and hunger from homes’. It’s also called the Feast of Imbolc, an ancient Irish celebration of the change of seasons from the short, dark winter days to the longer and brighter days of spring.
Here’s a link to a post I did a year ago that shows step by step how to make your own St. Brigid’s cross. It also has links to more information about St. Brigid’s Day, the meaning of the cross, and the Feast of Imbolc. https://thearanartisan.com/2016/03/15/spring-willow-project/
Joining in with the ‘One a Week Photo Challenge‘, word ‘happy’ and with Ronovan Writes haiku challenge, words ‘please & blow’.
please wrap yourself up
on this first day of springtime
the wind is blowing
Getting up early and taking a walk with the children was an amazing way to start the day and has me thinking we ought to do it more often. I’m wondering though if the adventurous feeling to it would soon wear off? Perhaps it was just the novelty that made everyone so happy and they would be less excited to do it regularly. I suppose there’s only one way to find out.
Through the open gate and into the garden.
If there’s one thing that makes it evident there’s a seasonal transition going on, it’s got to be the recent mud. A couple wet days and the heavy soil makes for clumpy boots, sticky shovels, soupy paths and a pigsty chicken run. It definitely reminds me of the spring thaw back in Maine.
Hearing one’s wellies squish squash while walking, brings awareness to the quiet cusp of winter-spring. No whirring lawn trimmers and zooming tour buses polluting the air with their constant background noise.
Quiet, but not silence for the birdsong in the background is pleasant and welcome and so uplifting that I felt a literal spring in my step, quite the opposite from that of having the bottom of my feet suctioned into the earthy mud. Continue reading
When asked what type of goats we keep we answer as best we know by saying ‘island goats’. They’re wild and hardy and prefer to roam the day in whichever large field they’re currently stone wall fenced into. Whatever the weather, they sleep outside under the evening sky with their herd of a half dozen or so. While they’re far from constrained, there’s a tendency for them to go through periods of rebellion where day after day for a week or so Johnny spends hours searching for which direction they’ve headed off to explore. It’s often not as easy to find them as one might think, especially if they decide to lie down and take a nap under a high wall. The children and I have helped their dad look plenty of times and there’s no doubt we’ve walked right past them on more than one occasion.
On this day, a month old kid had gone missing. After a second search within the same day, Johnny found him at last. Having fallen four feet down between a narrow crack in the stones, the goat was a huge challenge to rescue. What else would Johnny do but try and try again until at last successfully looping a noose around his neck and lifting him to safety? As if he would have been able to focus on anything other than helping save Hop’s life. Wild they may be, but they’re each named and cared for as best as possible.
A very scared baby Hop and an awkward rescue for Johnny.
No doubt, Hop learned a valuable lesson about keeping an eye on where he’s bouncing about in his playfulness. Considering that these cracks are a common part of their terrain, it’s a wonder that this doesn’t happen more often. Gratefully, it’s a rare occurrence though.
Taking part in in the One A Week Photo Challenge with my ‘awkward’photograph. Next week’s word is ‘gate’. Have an idea? Join in!
Cheers, Melissa Xx
I think it’s understood by all who read this blog that there are six other creatives behind the scenes of The Aran Artisan that contribute in each their own means. If I had my way, everyone in our family would participate in the writing; they know they are more than welcome to. Johnny takes quite a few of the photographs and helps with the editing and I know he is happy with that role. I’ve encouraged the children to consider writing book reviews, poetry, or short stories but it just hasn’t been the right time for any of them to do so and that’s just fine with me. They certainly contribute plenty of material through their daily living for me to shape my writing around. My family is the heart and soul of this blog.
Yesterday my eldest child, Margaret Maeve, turned thirteen years old. I’ve mentioned her Instagram art account Create Without Limits before and several of you support, encourage, and follow her and for that I thank you. Her birthday seemed just the time to do something that we’ve talked about for a few months now, adding that account here on the blog. So that’s what I’ve done, here in the widget section on the right-hand side, you’ll find her most recent posts →
Above is a thank you card made using a drawing of hers. It’s drawn from a photograph and is the first grandchild of the cousin who sent the children their telescope at Christmas. They each wrote a message of thanks and it’s been sent on its way to America. I’m both proud and happy to feature her here and hope the other children also eventually add their own personal touch to the pages of our blog.
‘Card’ is the photo word this week for the One a Week Photo Challenge hosted by Sandra and Cathy. Yes, I’m a day late with my entry. Again.
“We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This sign caught my eye whilst I was in Boston’s North Station waiting for the train to my beloved home state of Maine last November. It’s a very large train station and there were several of these signs on the ceiling above.
While I’m betting that there’s a logical reason for it, I can’t think of any plausible explanation. Spiderman dropping by? Unlikely. Perhaps Lionel Richie or Fred Astaire, after all, it say’s do not walk on ceiling’; there’s no danger in a little dancing. 😀
I’m joining in with my interpretation of ‘ceiling’ for the One a Week Photo Challenge hosted by Sandra and Cathy.